Falling Into Autumn

Friends,

Autumn is approaching! I love the smells that are in the air, the feel of the cool morning breezes on my skin, and the sense of impending change that defines the season. It’s one of my favorite times of year, and I’ve decided to use it as a tool to help revitalize my drive and ambition, with the hope of completing my current projects to the best of my ability! Let’s get down to this week’s details…

The Faces of the War Collection

Much progress has been made since last week. I have no more than 3,000 words left to write to reach my target word count (or close to it), and it is my intention to knock out those words in the coming week. I mentioned last week that I received the finished front cover of Imminent, and that I’ll reveal that properly as the release date of the book gets closer. It is still set for December 11, with the aim being that the book will be available for purchase before Christmas – in case you want to gift it to someone! I’ll continue to give updates on this project through this blog, so continue following to stay in the loop!

Inkitt Short Story

There is still time to read my latest short story on the website Inkitt, and to vote for it (if you like it) before the contest ends on September 24. I’ve said it before – I’m not looking to win the contest, but rather to get my content “out there.” If I were to win, great! But if not, I’ll just be glad to have been able to create something new for you, my readers, to enjoy. Let me know what you think!

YouTube

I am looking forward to continuing into the autumn and winter with my videos. I am making it a goal of mine to get into a better habit of recording more throughout the week rather than just one or two days. Videos will still be posted on Fridays, sometimes skipping weeks here and there if my personal schedule is particularly hectic. You can find my videos on my channel, and be sure to “Subscribe” so that you can see my latest videos in your home feed. And tell a friend – I’m always looking to connect with new viewers and followers of my work!

Indie Writing Advice

When writing your first draft, it’s wise not to worry about making it perfect. I’ve said this before – doing that will hinder the flow of creativity and ideas, and will draw out the writing process much longer than it should be. Save the fine-tuning for later. One thing to do as you write, though, is to take a mental note (or actually write it down on a pad of paper) of the words or phrases you often tend to resort to often.

For example, I tend to picture in my mind the scene I’m writing as it plays out. I sometimes have characters nod in agreement or understanding, and I find that I write it as such quite a bit. So what I do is simple: I’ll go into the finished first draft and run a search for the word “nod” and see how many results come up. I’ll then go through and try to replace it with a different action that will convey similar emotion, tension, etc. in that scene. This not only decreases repetitive wording, but it forces me to freshen up my vocabulary and by extension helps round out my characters and what they do. I include this in my editing read-throughs after I finish the first draft. This way, these repetitive actions and dialogue beats will be ironed out and made pretty before handing the story over to my editor, which cuts down on their work in the end.

That’s all I have for this week, but stay tuned as progress is made this week and next, and as the story nears its completion. The publishing process will begin to pick up speed as the autumn presses on, so join me for the ride in the coming months as we move closer to release!

Until next time,

-Eli

Getting Closer to the End

Friends,

A new week has arrived on the calendar, which means that we have yet another opportunity to seek and achieve great things – be it goals, ambitions, passion…whatever you set your heart to! I am in the process of working toward achieving my own goals, and I’ll share some news about those goals with you now…

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ve sent my second round of changes for the book cover for Imminent and am currently awaiting the designer’s next draft as I write this. This is a very exciting part of the publishing process because it’s the first tangible sign that your project is coming to life!

Just last night, I eclipsed the 10K word mark for Part II, and finally completed the writing of that part, with the first draft word count coming to just over 11K. With about 15K more words to go, I am in the home stretch of writing the first draft…and that is very exciting too! Hopefully in just a few weeks, I’ll have the first draft completed and can then move on to the next step: editing.

YouTube

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel, I encourage you to do so! You’ll be able to stay up-to-date on my writing projects as well as get a glimpse into my life behind the writing. In my vlogs, I share my thoughts about writing, indie publishing, and other topics, as well as give advice to newer writers based on my experiences in the industry so far. I also have done a series on my writing process, so if you’re new to the game then I encourage you to check it out. Keep in mind that all writers are different, so everything I say or do might not fit into your style of writing and working. But that’s the beauty of it: we can learn from each other. It’s a journey that I want to take with others interested in what I do or who like my work, so please join me and let’s connect!

Short Story

As you may be aware, I submitted a short story to a historical fiction contest on the website Inkitt. The contest ends in late September, but the time to read it is now! Why? Because in order to win the contest, I need votes from you, my readers. But it’s more than winning a contest; it’s about sharing new content with the world and providing good stories for others to be entertained by. I’ve been told my story is a good one, so if you have 15-20 minutes that you’d like to put toward reading a short story, please give mine a look. Don’t forget to vote for it by clicking the heart icon at the bottom of the screen!

Indie Writing Advice

When you write your first draft, it’s easy to get wrapped up into trying to perfect it as the words first fall onto the page. Though it’s a good habit to make – editing and reworking the words as you go – it’s not something that should be a make-or-break sort of thing. You should ground this thought into your head as you write your first draft of any project: it’s not going to be perfect.

I’ve published two books and am working on my third, and even now I can think of ways that I could’ve made my stories better. And that’s after I read through the manuscripts each a handful of times, had them edited by others, and gave myself time in between self-editing so as to approach the drafts with a refreshed eye (all of those things, by the way, are practices I advocate in my writing process videos)! So it’s wise to live by the idea that you can always improve a story, so there’s no sense in bothering with trying to make it perfect on the first go.

Just focus on getting the story in your mind onto the page in it’s rawest form, then go from there with a fine-tooth comb to make it better down the road. And if you’re in the same boat with me, you’ll want to write for the sake of writing because you lack the freedom of time, and you know that editing will come later. Take a deep breath. Relax. And write on.

That’s all I have for you right now. Keep an open eye for news of my book cover, whether it be in social media or in next week’s blog post. Either way, it’s coming, and it’s going to be great!

Until next time,

-Eli

30K Words on Imminent!

Friends,

It’s a new week, which means it’s a new chance to achieve greatness! I have some things to talk about today, so let’s get started…

Thoughts on Blog Posts

So I’ve been thinking over the past few weeks and months about what I can do to improve my blog posts so that you, my readers, can get more out of the content I put out to you. One thought, at least to start, was to add a little spice to my posts, because a little change here and there can be refreshing! That being said, I’d like to start including a section where I can more formally give tips and advice on writing from my experience. As for this blog post, you’ll find it at the end.

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ll be getting the first mock-up covers from my cover designer sometime today. I work until 5pm today, so I’ll have all day to anticipate it! Like I’ve said in the past, it should be only a few weeks at most for me to get the final version of the cover worked out, if not sooner. And at that point, I’ll be sure to let you all know when to look for the official reveal. It’ll be closer to the book’s release. That leads me to my next point…

I just surpassed the 30K word count mark for Imminent yesterday afternoon! It’s a great feeling to be two-thirds of the way done with my manuscript, and that much closer to perfecting this story. In just one night in the past week, I knocked out about 2,500 words, and close to 3,000 on another night. If I can have about 6-7 days more of this kind of writing, I’ll have my manuscript complete in its rough form. That is also a great feeling to have!

I mentioned in my most recent YouTube vlog that the tentative release for this book would be Christmas, and in the vlog I said that I may have already said too much regarding that. I only said this because I wanted to be 100% sure (as sure as 100% can be for someone writing with a schedule like mine) before announcing the release date, but oh well! I am slating the release of Imminent to be in time for Christmas of this year! Stay tuned in on all that will be going on with this book, as well as with my other projects by following this blog, following my social media profiles, and subscribing to my newsletter! The next newsletter comes out on or around Wednesday, August 26, so subscribe now to receive it in your email (be sure to check folders other than your Inbox in case it finds its way somewhere else).

Inkitt Short Story

I recently submitted a short story to a site called Inkitt for a contest they’re holding until the end of September. The contest is titled “Reclaim Time” and is geared toward historical fiction stories. I refined a short story I had on my to-publish shelf and submitted it, soon being notified that it had been accepted. Since it is a contest, that means there is a winner. So what I’d like for you to do is this: go to this link and read my story (entitled “The Last Man”), and after you’re done simply nominate it by clicking the heart icon in the footer of the screen. I’d greatly appreciate it! Even if I don’t win the contest, it was great to get more content out to the public and to create something out of nothing one more time!

Indie Writing Advice

Something I have noticed through my writing experience thus far is this: there is a difference between planning a story and planning the publication of a story. It seems like such a “duh” concept, but it didn’t really hit me until this summer. Brainstorming, planning, and developing ideas for a story are thing you can do that don’t have a direct relationship to time in the real world. However, trying to plan how you’ll actually go about writing and publishing that story is something that should only be planned in small chunks and in the short term.

If you’re like me, you write semi-regularly with some days here and there seeing more productivity than usual. A “usual” writing day for me is anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending, and I can normally crank out anywhere from 500-1,000 words. On those days that my productivity soars, I can produce from 1,000-3,000 words (like the two days this past week). I hold the notion in mind that I’ll take what I can get, when I can get it, and for me that seems to help me justify my writing style well enough. But if I tried to convince myself that I want to have 4-5 days a week where I produce between 750-2,000 words consistently, I’m only cheating myself, my story, and my readers. Why? Because an indie who doesn’t write full time can never be sure when they’ll be able to sit down at their computer and write that consistently to produce what they consider to be on time.

So if you’re asking yourself, “What can I do to improve my productivity but also stay within the realm of a realistic writing schedule?” Here’s what I say to you: set small goals and work from there. Start with saying, “I’ll write for 15-30 minutes three days/nights a week. See what kind of productivity you make at that pace, then use it to gauge further work. If you can increase the time in those three days, or keep it at 15-30 minutes but for 5-6 days, that’s great! Do whatever works for you, because that’s what it boils down to. Don’t cheat yourself, your story, or your readers. If nothing else, remember that when and where you write.

That’s basically it for this week, but don’t worry – there will be more as the coming weeks approach, so don’t miss out on anything! I look forward to seeing you subscribe to my mailing list if you haven’t already done so, and I look forward to interacting with anyone, new or old, on social media!

Until next time,

-Eli